You might have surely heard about 'Hoodia cactus plant extract' by this time as it has been broadcasted by numerous major media sources, like the 'BBC', 'The Today Show', 'CBS' and much more. Because of this, Hoodia Gordonii products have quickly ascended to become one of the fastest growing segments of the 'diet supplement market'. Before choosing a Hoodia product you should know that there are many kinds of Hoodia plant, but only the Hoodia Gordonii type has an astonishing 'appetite suppressing' quality. These properties have been known about for centuries by a primitive tribe known as the 'Sans Bushmen'. During mid 1990s an institute called the C.S.I.R. 'Council for Scientific and Industrial Research' was conducting a study of native plants eaten by the 'Sans Bushmen'. Basically, the study was to see what foods, the 'Sans Bushmen' were taking that protected the toxic compounds. When the C.S.I.R. studied Hoodia Gordonii, they found it was not only non-toxic, but also it helped to suppress the appetite of animals it used to feed to. Hoodia Cactus PlantFinally, the C.S.I.R. isolated the active ingredient responsible for the 'appetite suppressing' effects and called it 'P57'. This is the 'Hoodia cactus extract'. They then sold the rights of 'P57' to a British pharmaceutical company called 'Phytopharm'. You may be wondering how it can be there are so many Hoodia products on the market if only 'Phytopharm' has the rights to 'P57'. The answer lies in the patent laws. You know that, only 'Phytopharm' can extract the active molecule called 'P57' from Hoodia Gordonii and use it in their product line. But a whole natural plant - in this case the Hoodia Gordonii plant- cannot be patented. As a result, other companies' can very well produce supplements or products made from Hoodia Gordonii and sell them legally. The important thing for consumers right now is to make sure that they are buying a product that contains genuine South African Hoodia Gordonii.